Anyone who knows me well will know that I’ve been on a mission of late; a mission which, I was reminded so helpfully by Facebook memories today, has been wasting my time for two long years now. Ever since reading Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, I’ve been seeking to simplify certain aspects of my life, including downsizing the amount which was clogging up my wardrobe.
I’ve since consumed anything to do with minimalism and simple living, absorbing podcasts, blogs, Ted Talks and short documentaries and essays about the topic. It’s definitely helped me break the sentimental bond that I had been nurturing with the majority of my possessions since I was small, and given me and insight into exactly what I wear, making new wardrobe choices far, far easier. Having a better sense of which colours and styles I gravitate towards has made picking new pieces a piece of cake, and has meant I’ve actually started to enjoy putting outfits together again.
I’ve long since been interested in buying quality over quantity, and in my quest for mindful consumption and wannabe-minimalism I’ve been seeking out brands which close the loop on fast fashion. Those who reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible, creating items which were made to last. One such brand is the fantastic Madia & Matilda, a sustainable British fashion brand who create beautiful pieces from their home in the heart of the Cotswolds.
The UK has a real problem with high street fast fashion, which we are all guilty of buying in to. That dress we bought on a whim and wore once for a wedding or party. Those ‘just because it’s on sale’ items that creep into our baskets. Heck, the jeans I’m wearing above are from Primark, because my thighs have got a habit of bursting through every single pair I’ve ever owned (I’ve just invested in a pair of beautiful Hiut Denim jeans, but that’s another story for another time).
Madia & Matilda are attempting to tackle some of the wasteful nature of this type of fashion buying culture, by using sustainable materials, end of roll fabrics and creating timeless pieces made to last, to tackle this never-ending cycle of cheap, badly made garments. Even the leftover fabrics from designs are used as trim or worked into new pieces with each collection. I adore this kind of attention to detail and dedication to not wasting a single piece.
Owned and run by the lovely Shalize, Madia & Matilda operate from their shop on John Street in Stroud, a hop and a skip from the market in the middle of town. I adore Stroud, it being the home of my morris side and all, and I cannot recommend popping along one weekend for a potter around and a browse around the farmer’s market for a bite to eat.
Alongside their latest creations in the studio, Madia & Matilda also operate an alteration service – another reason to repurpose that old top you’ve been meaning to fix but never quite got round to. You might have spotted them at the pop up in Cabot Circus over the summer; keep an eye out on social for where they’re off to next.
I never thought that I’d be much of a pink person, but having sifted through my clothes and decided which ones ‘sparked joy’, it’s definitely a colour I’m drawn to. I’m sporting a beautiful pink linen ‘Elise’ top by Madia & Matilda (*), and am pictured here by the brilliant Lauren Jayne Hall at the Eating Room in Totterdown. I cannot quite believe that I’ve been in this neighbourhood for just over a year now and this was my first visit – something which must be remedied immediately! It’s well worth a trip if you haven’t been; I wish I could commission whoever collated all these beautiful trinkets to fill my home with such treasures.
Just a quick little shoutout to another excellent sustainable fashion brand – the brill Ottowin, makers of these sandals that I’ve been living in this summer. The rich chocolatey hue matches my Leather Needle Thread bag perfectly (which reminds me that I need to write a post about leather vs vegetarianism vs sustainability, but let’s leave that for another time – I could harp on about this all day).
I’ve been living in this top since I got it about a month ago – the shape means that it’s perfect to throw on with a pair of jeans or a nice skirt, and ideal for dressing up or down. I guess that’s the beauty of living with a (vaguely) minimalist wardrobe – knowing that each piece is used as equally as the next, and that everything you own complements each other beautifully.
I was gifted this item for the purpose of this review but all words and opinions are my own. Photos by Lauren Jayne Hall.